Stove Works / 1250 E 13th St. April 25th

Paul Stephen Benjamin

Join us for a special performance by conceptual artist Paul Stephen Benjamin, in which he will activate his sculpture Ceiling with movement and sound. The performance will be followed by a talkback with TK Smith, curator of our current exhibition, Hand to Mouth.

Benjamin’s Ceiling materializes the concept of “the glass ceiling,” which is often used to describe the broad range of social barriers that prevent marginalized people from reaching higher levels of success. To “break the glass ceiling” is to surpass invisible barriers, such as sexism, racism, and ableism, to achieve what has historically been accessible exclusively to white men. At the heart of Benjamin’s practice is a conceptual exploration of Blackness through the senses: sight, touch, taste, smell, and sound. In Ceiling, he performs upon a stage of shattered glass, alluding to the countless ceilings broken before him. Through activations of movement and sound, Benjamin invites us to question the use of the concept when applied to his own laboring body.